The text and paintings on The Trowbridge Chronicles are taken from the illustrated journal of Violet Trowbridge, a shrew that once lived in a village deep in the Olympic Rain Forest. Each new post will represent a portion of Mrs. Trowbridge’s journal.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Quiet Moments by the Stream

After devoting many years to pouring over Mrs. Trowbridge's journal, it is my opinion that Wild Rose Creek was her favorite place to visit in the rain forest. The high meadows where she and her family would spend part of the summer was also one of her favorite spots. Mrs. T spent much of her early morning hours beside the stream, painting and pondering, as evidenced by the text in her journal page above. Her ladybug friend, Lucinda, would often join her.

She would sometimes paint herself into her pictures, as in the above painting which depicts her sketching an Indian Pipe by the stream. The sun is just beginning to break through the early morning fog.

I photographed these Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora) in the Dosewallips Wilderness several summers ago. A Saprophyte, Indian Pipe derive their nourishment from decomposing matter on the forest floor. Since they have no chlorophyll, they cannot manufacture their own nourishment. Indian Pipe blossoms from June to September.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Mountain heather is always a common and welcome sight in the high meadows. Its aromatic scent adds to the wonderful mix of alpine fragrances in the high country. I found this pink heather growing on the eastern shore of Deer Lake in the North Olympic Wilderness.

The small creatures of the rain forest found many useful purposes for mountain heather in their everyday lives. Because it is an evergreen, they used the boughs year round in their festival decorations, especially their holiday wreaths, as seen in Mrs. Trowbridge's journal page above. They dried the flowers and used them as a potpourri, to mask the musky rodent scent in their dwellings. They even used the flowers as a tasty colorful garnish for their meals.

In addition to being a fine scribe and painter, Mrs. T was a "crafty" creature as well. She always made a traditional heather wreath for the hearth mantle at Gathering Festival time.